5 Quick Tips to Tackle Standardized Tests: The College Board

16 May

Standardized tests are a critical component of your application to universities abroad – whether it’s the SAT or ACT for undergraduate admissions to the US, the GMAT, or the GRE for postgraduate admissions worldwide. Taking standardized tests are often projected as being overwhelming, stress-filled experiences, but they don’t need to be. Here are 5 tips to help you prepare smartly for standardized tests and give it your best shot!

  1. Know What to Expect – Being familiar with the test’s format is the best way to prepare for it. Go to the testing organization’s website or check out books to get familiar with the various test sections and the instructions for each part. You’ll feel more confident if you know the test format beforehand, and are likely to save valuable time on test day. In short, don’t be unprepared.
  2. Practice – There are strategies for acing most standardized tests. Often, the topics being tested are quite simple and from the classroom; it’s the format of the exam that makes the test-taking experience challenging. There is no alternative to practicing a lot, for several weeks, before taking a standardized test. Focus your attention on each section of the test, and each different topic area being tested, with the intent to master each of them. You will find practice questions of each type on the test maker’s website, and books available in the market are also good resources.
  3. Focus on Weak Areas – When you analyze the score from a practice test, pay attention to the types of questions that gave you trouble and then focus on those areas as you prepare. If yo
    u continue focusing on areas where you’re already doing well, it won’t necessarily help you improve your score. You can usually find advice and access to tools that help you determine your weakness areas on the test maker’s website.
  4. Check Your Timing – It isn’t enough to practice different types of questions on a test. You should replicate the real-day testing environment at home, and attempt to practice the entire test at once, instead of in parts. Admission tests are strictly timed, and their timing is different from regular high school or college-level tests. If you find you finished early and got easy questions wrong, slow down and read questions more thoroughly. If you didn’t finish in time, focus on improving timing, and check out the test-taking tips and study aids on the test maker’s website.
  5. Be Calm Before Test Day – It’s common to get nervous the night before the exam. However, you should remember that you need to be relaxed and in a good frame of mind to ace the test. Make sure you get a good night’s sleep before the test date. Remember to carry your Admission Ticket, ID, stationery and calculator (if needed). Most standardized tests are long, and have adequate breaks between sections. Carry a healthy snack to eat between sections to stay focused and sharp during the entire duration of the test.

Lisa Jain is the Representative of The College Board in India. In her role, she works extensively with schools across India to support implementation of College Board programs. She also interacts directly with students and parents, educating them about how College Board’s programs and resources (such as SAT, AP, PSAT or Big Future) help in the college application and admission process.

Check out The College Board at www.collegeboard.org

One Response to “5 Quick Tips to Tackle Standardized Tests: The College Board”

  1. Web Hosting August 21, 2017 at 12:25 am #

    You should also pay attention to more in-depth strategies in your studying so that you can improve your content knowledge and feel more confident on the test! Her goal is to help students adopt a less stressful view of standardized testing and other academic challenges through her articles.

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